Tag Archives: Costa

Canvey Comes Alive! Is this a case of CPBC Cutting off our Nose to Spite our Face?

News that work is pressing ahead with Canvey Island’s new Retail development adjacent to Morrisons Supermarket is given an interesting and speculative “Spin” by the developers.

“The new retail park will complement the existing town centre and create a more convenient local shopping destination for Canvey Island residents and visitors, encouraging footfall into the town centre.

NewRiver’s investment, it says, will act as a catalyst for further growth and long-overdue investment for the whole town, whilst providing approximately 150 new jobs, excluding construction related employment.
Jamie Whitfield, director at NewRiver, said: “This is a significant step in an exciting and long-overdue development for the Canvey Island community.

NewRiver’s plans to transform and re-activate this brownfield site into a new retail park will offer greater choice that will allow local people to shop locally in Canvey as well as attracting shoppers from other parts of Essex.”

Given that Retail businesses are suffering through the Internet, Austerity and high Rates and Rents, it is hard to imagine how, what is an “out of town” Retail area offering convenience foods and cut price goods, will complement Canvey island’s Town Centre!

Following the abandonment of the Town Centre Regeneration, promising “Canvey Comes Alive”, this could amount to the death knell for many town centre outlets.

Identifying the venture as “reactivating this brownfield site” also amounts to  oversell as the site was Green Field!

Whilst the promise of 150 new jobs is welcomed the news of the venture being a “catalyst for further growth and long-overdue investment for the whole town” once again questions Cllr Riley’s promise of no Development before Infrastructure delivery!

Once again the disregard by Castle Point council of their Local Plan supporting Documentation, this time the Retail Assessment, in which it clearly recognises the Need for Retail and Employment development in the Mainland part of the Borough, indicates the planners and members lack of ability in Growth Distribution matters, that has brought Intervention to the Runnymede council offices doorstep!

Once again Politics prevails!

Still if the new venture was to fail, the Brownfield site could soon be proposed as a large Housing development.

The Full Article can be found via this LINK.


Photo Courtesy: canveycomesalive


Opportunity Knocks for Canvey Island, whilst Castle Point mainland left Neglected again?

Lucky Canvey Island appears to be at the Opportunity End of Industrial Employment Opportunities!

Planning to Neglect the mainland part of Castle Point in favour of Canvey Island, despite consultants challenging evidence, cpbc look intent on giving the green light to employment planning proposals for large scale development.


An investment opportunity

This should be seen as a Good News Story not only for the employment opportunity but also the status quo protection of land on the mainland.

The cpbc Annual Monitoring current report indicates Extant permissions for Industrial growth proposals distributed across the Borough thus;

Canvey Island: 45,724 square Metres

Mainland: 3,380 square Metres

Admittedly this may mean a loss of open green space.

Signs so far also indicate that with cpbc promising a high end retail element of take up, minimum wage employment and high traffic usage by deliveries and visitors causing some air pollution and road congestion, may result.

However cpbc must be commended for their bravery in insisting that Canvey Island is the place to develop!

This in the face of their consultants guidance and recommendations;

The main supply of industrial sites is in Canvey Island, away from strategic roads and the areas of stronger demand. Castle Point also has very limited provision for small, start-up businesses compared with adjoining boroughs.

….around 72% of the employment land area is located within the Canvey Island area, with some 27% in Thundersley, and less than 1% within the South Benfleet and Hadleigh urban areas.

Over 90% of the borough’s allocated employment land is in Canvey Island with limited supply elsewhere to meet future demand. The Borough’s two allocated sites South of Northwick Road and Roscommon Way appear reasonably suited to meet future needs although their proximity to the Thames estuary, relative remoteness and potential drainage issues may deter development.

….there may be a qualitative need for some more sites that are readily available and better located to strategic roads and population centres in the north of the Borough.   Such sites might also have better prospects of attracting developers.

It would appear difficult to achieve any sizeable reduction in out-commuting in Castle Point. However, various approaches could help avoid the situation worsening These would include providing some more immediately available industrial sites in the north of the borough, near strategic roads.

….it is not obvious that a new road access to Canvey Island could enable the area to benefit to a much greater extent from the major port and distribution development at London Gateway in Thurrock.  The cost of such infrastructure would also need to be weighed against the scale of economic benefits likely to accrue to Canvey Island, and the extent of these do not appear likely to be major.

The main supply of industrial sites is in Canvey Island, which is away from strategic roads and the areas of stronger demand.

It would appear difficult to achieve any sizeable reduction in out-commuting in Castle Point. However, various approaches could help avoid the situation worsening…. These would include providing some more immediately available industrial sites in the north of the borough, near strategic roads


Castle Point’s “Make it Up as you Go Along” approach to development, not shared by the SoS!

Further to our suggestion that perhaps the expansion of the retail “area” around Morrisons at West Canvey may impact negatively on the Canvey Island Town Centre, we learn through planningportal.co.uk of a decision taken by the Secretary of State on a proposal in Devon.


Photo Courtesy: canveycomesalive

Published: Thursday, 7th July 2016

Plans for the 17,000 square metre Moor Exchange development have been refused by the Secretary of State, largely because of its impact on Exeter’s city centre…

Proposals for a new district shopping centre at an out-of-centre location near Sowton off Exeter’s Honiton Road on the outskirts of the city have been rejected by Communities Secretary Greg Clark.

Developer CPG’s Moor Exchange scheme involved some 17,000 square metres of retail floor space and included a garden centre and drive-through restaurants. One retail unit was potentially 5,800 square metres in size.

The city council had refused the project largely on the grounds of its impact on the city centre. Both the inspector who held the recovered appeal and the SoS noted that Exeter’s bus and coach station site (BCS) which is currently earmarked for development was highly accessible and well connected to the city centre and was “sequentially preferable, suitable and available”.

Clark’s decision letter said that although the 3.2-hectare appeal site was generally well-located for public transport it was in a “less accessible location than the sequentially preferable BCS site. The appeal scheme would include a large new car park and ‘drive-through’ restaurants which would be likely to encourage rather than deter the use of the private car”.

He concluded that the benefits of the scheme did not outweigh the conflict with the development plan and the environmental harm. The proposals also failed the town centre first sequential test provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Obviously Canvey Island is “small fry” in comparison, however it warrants both of our local authorities adopting a Position, any Position.

The majority of Canvey residents would like a regenerated Town Centre with a wider range of stores and good parking facilities. The likelihood of this diminishes with every expansion made by the out of town option.

Canvey stores have a limited number of population to attract, shoppers do not travel to Canvey due to it being off the beaten track and the larger shopping attractions nearby.

Surely everything should be done to support the existing Retailers.

With and out of date Local Plan and no Neighbourhood Plan, Canvey is like a ship without a rudder. Castle Point council are in the dire position of needing to encourage and seek development of any kind on Canvey Island to support the Local Plan 2016.

The position could be fast approaching where, if the current situation is not addressed soon, the Out of Town centre may in the future raise objections to proposals to Regenerate our Town Centre!

Time for Canvey to Wake Up and SMELL THE COSTA COFFEE?

The news that Costa Coffee will be opening a Drive Through establishment, alongside a garden centre and 4 other “non food” outlets,  on Canvey Island has been received as a Good News story.


Indeed the land, owned by Castle Point Council, will bring in much desperately needed funds.

Whether the Canvey Town Council should be quite so welcoming is open to question though. It may be considered that the expansion of “out of town” retail trade in a constricted area such as Canvey, may have consequences in the Town Centre.

Already struggling due to the high rents, empty shops are difficult to let, despite this small enterprises have invested heavily in cafes along Canvey High Road and Furtherwick Road and evidence shows these to be popular with residents. These cafes add to what little “draw” that the town Centre offers. Hopefully our Town Council considered this and had some conviction that the expansion of the retail area at West Canvey would not be to the detriment of the Town Centre.

This is something that Southend Council are giving deep thought to where the re-siting of Southend Utd Football Club, with the retail and hotel development alongside, is concerned. I understand that the Southend agreement will involve some substantial compensatory payment towards Town Centre improvements.

It would be nice to think that a sum has been discussed and suggested for an injection towards Canvey Town Centre regeneration by our local councillors.

Furthermore, alongside this new retail site, the other “Land opposite Morrisons” site and the extension to Charfleets Industrial site, with these 3 new developments Castle Point Council should be seeking funding for future sea defence improvements.

Whether the population of Canvey is large enough to spread their expenditure across new retail sites in large enough amounts to maintain both an expanding out of town centre plus the Town Centre, is open to question. That retail establishments generally appear to rely on moderate earning and part time employees does not see this latest enterprise as an essential asset to local employment.

Fortunately it appears that the question of surface water flood risk has been “raised” by the Essex Lead Local Flood Authority, pointing out the increased responsibilities that CPBC have, or should be, undertaking.

The South Essex Surface Water Management Plan 2012 identifies Canvey Island as Critical Drainage Area.  Given its low lying nature, land on Canvey is subject to surface water flooding and any development proposals at this site need to be designed to achieve resilience and resistance to flood risk.”

We had hoped our concerns regarding Land Raising had been adopted but no mention of this in the Canvey Town Council comment. The new development intends to raise the on-site ground levels by 1 Metre!

Excavations into existing made ground and the underlying natural soils should be assumed to be unstable.

It is recommended that in order to reduce the possibility of softening or swelling of cohesive soils at the base of foundation trenches, it should be suitably blinded with concrete.”

Developers comments that might raise some concern locally as to what degree of seriousness Flood risk is taken.

The application site is considered one of the best performing allocated undeveloped sites in terms of strategic accessibility, and benefits from good local access via Roscommon Way and its Extension, but it is still considered relatively isolated from public transport.”

Good local access via Roscommon Way, but perhaps much less so where Waterside Roundabout is concerned. More evidence that this site will be reliant on Canvey residents support.

It could soon be argued that what we need to support these newly proposed “and welcomed” enterprises, is a larger population!